Nintendo PlayStation Prototype Now Functional
Console modder Ben Heck gets the prototype's CD drive running.
The fabled prototype for the Nintendo PlayStation, what was to be a joint console between Nintendo and Sony, is now fully up and running, courtesy of console modder Ben Heckendorn.
The existence of the Nintendo PlayStation has been the subject of video game lore, as the partnership and subsequent falling out between Nintendo and Sony were what ultimately spurred the latter's entrance into the home console market, but any existing units were thought to have been lost to time. That all changed in July 2015, when a prototype was discovered by a Reddit user known as "Dnldbld," who shared images of the console on the online forum.
Initially, the "Nintendo Play Station" was to be a CD-ROM-enhanced version of the SNES. The system was even publicly unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, but Nintendo backed out of the arrangement and, at that very same event, announced it would be entering into a partnership with Philips, which would result in the infamous Philips CD-i (and its notorious Zelda titles). The 200 existing prototypes for the Nintendo PlayStation were destroyed and Sony would go on to release its own version of the console under the same moniker in 1994, but at least one prototype seems to have survived and is in working condition, though the unit's CD-ROM drive was inoperative until now.
In the latest episode of the "Ben Heck Show," which you can watch above, Heckendorn reveals how he was able to repair the aged prototype's hardware and get the disc drive finally running. As no official titles for the unit are thought to exist, Heckerdown uses a number of homebrew games, which were created for emulators based on the system after it was unearthed, to test the newly operative console.